Elon Musk has had a huge interest in cryptocurrency for years now. This is why both Tesla and SpaceX own Bitcoin and Musk himself made huge bets on both Ethereum and Bitcoin overall. Yet two dudes were sort of fed up with the crypto world as it was a crazy rise and fall type of territory. It is more untrustworthy than the stock market for investments. Therefore, software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer made “Dogecoin” simply as a joke. They did not expect anything to come of it but knew the crypto world was so insane that they could get some bites. Many now call it the first “meme coin,” but it was certainly the first coin to have a dog on it. The coin featuring a Shiba Inu dog launched in December 2013, and due to its satirical nature, developed a nice online following.
Musk saw it and began to discuss it on his Twitter account, resulting in many investing in the coin. While this is technically market manipulation that would be illegal for stocks, there is no rule against this for crypto. Musk at one point in 2020 just tweeted: “One Word: Doge.” The coin rose 20% as a result. Another tweet in February 2021 led to a 40% rise, but a tweet in April 2021 led to a 100% rise. It eventually reached a market capitalization of $85 billion! This has since led to a $258 billion racketeering lawsuit citing Musk and his companies. As of September 2022, at least six investor plaintiffs and six new defendants have joined the lawsuit. While Elon Musk certainly helped to market the coin, he’s still not its inventor.